Category Archives: Culture

Double Dee Light

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Llangollen Gala coming up – and here’s one from a previous event. With the river Dee, sparkling, in the background No.7822 Foxcote Manor is piloting ‘heavy freight’ 2-8-0 No.3802 as they ‘re-create’ a famous rail tour from the past, which ran, over several years, to the Talyllyn Railway, in September, for their AGM. In 1963, No.7822 was one of the two Manors booked for the turn, the other, No.7827 Lydham Manor, is still in existence, so, in theory, it would be possible to recreate a portion of one of the original tours.

This photograph is taken at the Llangollen Railway a mile or so to the east of Carrog, which was, at the time, the terminus. However, recently, the line has re-opened into Corwen, a long time ambition of the Llangollen Railway. A team based at the Llangollen Railway’s workshops, in Llangollen, are well under way with the building, from new, of one of the former LMSR Patriot Class 3cyl 4-6-0s. The initial members of the Patriot Class were actually rebuilds of a couple of Claughton Class 4-6-0s constructed, in 1912, for the London North Western Railway. The forty which followed had some bits from withdrawn ‘Claughtons’ incorporated into them, though how many, and which, isn’t exactly clear.

I’m quite looking forward to seeing the Patriot back in action; as I have fond memories of seeing them at work, in my home town, and when visiting my aunt and uncle in Rugby. A number of the Patriot Class were later re-built with Stanier taper boilers and curved smoke deflectors – in this form the were almost identical in appearance with the re-built Royal Scots and they were often known as ‘ Baby Scots’, as a result.

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Below are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing:

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’.

and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

HAVE YOU GOT YOUR COPY YET?

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Back in the day

mefiring

The occupation of footplateman has been with us now for a little over two hundred years during which time more has been written about them than any other group of people involved in a ‘working class’ occupation. Why is this so? In the General Strike of 1926 all manner of ‘respectable gentlemen’ queued up for the chance to work as ‘blackleg’ enginemen – these people were strangely absent during the ‘Winter of Discontent’ when the refuse collectors went on strike – leading to mountains of rubbish being piled up on the streets – ‘enginemen good, bin-men bad’. Perhaps, even more to the point – would we have the ‘heritage’ railways we all love and enjoy if the desire to be an engine driver hadn’t taken hold in the way it did?

In less than a decade after Trevithick’s ‘Catch-me-who-can’ entertained the crowds in London, steam traction was being used ‘commercially’ on Charles Brandling’s colliery railway in Leeds, William Hedley’s ‘Puffing Billy’ was in action at Wylam colliery and Stephenson’s locomotive ‘Blucher’ was in service at Killingworth colliery. The men who operated these locomotives are in essence the first footplatemen. Initially these men were drawn from within the existing colliery work-force, and Stephenson himself recommended ‘trustworthy’ men from his native Tyneside to crew the locomotives on the Liverpool & Manchester when it first opened. Stephenson and his brothers Ralph and James performed the duties of the footplate crew on the ‘opening train’ of the Stockton & Darlington. However, as the railway network begins to expanded beyond the confines of the pits and the coal staithes of Northern England recruitment begins to take place amongst the men being employed locally in the construction of the new railway lines.

Initially the steam locomotive worked alongside the horses which they were designed to supplant – this was not a resounding success. In the early days of operations on the Stockton & Darlington there were several ‘incidents’ which gave rise for concern. These concerns were essentially over, who had right of way over particular sections of the track, drunkenness, excessive hours on duty and speeding. In one incident the driver was, speeding and drunk, in an other accident the driver fell asleep, due to having been on duty for 15 hours. Other problems were, drunken fights over who had right of way and horse leaders going off to the pub for several hours at a time.

It is hard to imagine that these sorts of image would create the vision of the ‘heroic’ engine driver in his cab, monarch of all he surveys, commanding the very forces of nature. The everyday operation of the Stockton & Darlington railway was, it would seem, a very far cry from Terence Cuneo’s dramatic painting of the opening day train. A contemporaneous drawing by J.R.Brown, of the ‘first train’, depicts Stephenson in a grand pose on the running plate as the train proceeds, behind a man on horse back, across a bridge over the turnpike – is this the beginning of the ‘heroic’ image – it is undoubtedly one of the first images of a ‘footplateman’ – even if it is of Stephenson?

The difficulties created by drunkenness were not confined to the Stockton & Darlington. Local Leeds legend has it that one of Murray and Blenkinsop’s engines, on Brandling’s colliery railway, exploded because the crew were ‘down the pub’ and Trevithick’s first engine reputedly suffered a similar fate for the same reason. The relationship between drinking and railway work was not confined to the footplate. Coleman, in his excellent book on the railway navvy, ‘The Railway Navvies’, explains how, many navvies worked on a daily diet of a gallon of beer and a pound of beef. Railways could and did recruit footplate crew from amongst these men. One of the regular drivers, in the early days, on the London & Birmingham was a publican from Rugby – according to some accounts he was something of an eccentric and would turn up for duty in a frock coat and top hat. Once again it is difficult to reconcile this knowledge with the image of the ‘heroic’ engineman.

The early locomotives themselves had little by way of protection from the weather, mechanical failure was a frequent possibility and a lack of working rules and signalling created a very real hazard to life and limb. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere, in freezing fog, with a broken down engine and only time interval signalling for protection from other trains, which, by the way, had no direct braking system, is more the stuff of nightmares than heroics – but it does create circumstances in which men could, and did, behave heroically. However, the fact that circumstances could, on occasion, give footplatemen the opportunity to behave with great heroism is not the same thing as an ‘heroic’ image encompassing all footplatemen. This is reinforced by the knowledge that footplatemen were often prosecuted following an accident – with spells in jail and on the treadmill adding insult to probable injury.

Long hours on duty, poor to non-existent weather protection, health and safety hazards, and rates of pay less than that of the station masters of the lesser stations along the line was the common experience of Britain’s first enginemen at work on the Stockton & Darlington. Again it is difficult to find anything ‘heroic’ in this. Despite the obvious vicissitudes suffered by the early footplatemen the heroic image of the engine driver did come to hold sway in the imagination of at least one part of Victorian society – the middle-class. It is here that we must look to find the origins of the heroic and romanticised vision of the footplateman.

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It was the directors of the Stockton & Darlington who decided that things needed to be done to curtail, the drunken shenanigans, speeding and disputes over ‘rights of way’ – all of which were, rightly, considered bad for business. Similarly, it was the directors of other railway companies who introduced rules and regulations governing the conduct, sobriety and working practices of their employees. These rules and regulations were often based on those governing military service and were applied for the most part, in a draconian fashion, by the lower levels of railway management. Here again the picture is less than heroic, indeed there appears to be a concerted effort to standardise the workforce in much the same way as standardisation was taking place across all of manufacturing – this can be most clearly seen in moving to a ‘uniformed’ railway workforce. This image not only contradicts ideas of the heroic individual – it is a direct attempt to remove the ‘individual’ in favour of the ‘uniform’. This image is not only un-heroic it is also the antithesis of ‘romantic’.

When Victoria came to the throne in 1838 railway expansion was beginning to create the first tentative steps in a national network of lines. The London & Birmingham, the Great Western and the Grand Junction are either under construction, or are open and planning extensions and amalgamations. Initially these circumstances led to footplate crew being much in demand, but it did not lead to any overall improvements in the numbers of hours being worked or the weather proofing of the footplate. In the early 1840s one of the more notorious of the ‘Railway Barons’, George Hudson, the so called ‘Railway King’, created one of the first ‘footplate disputes’ when he tried to get the enginemen to work even longer hours for even less pay.

Several consequences arose from this dispute. The use of un-trained footplate crews in place of the strikers led to several accidents. This, in turn, caused the Directors of the York & North Midland to instruct Hudson to resolve the dispute, and many of the strikers were subsequently re-employed. The strike clearly demonstrated the dangers of trying to run trains using untrained footplate crews and just how skilled the regular crews were in dealing with poor to non-existent brakes, the vagaries of time interval signalling and the unreliable nature of the fledgling technology. The strikes against Hudson’s cost cutting are even more remarkable when you consider that there were no trade unions, this was direct action by those directly involved.

Like many of you reading this article I grew up during the period of Nationalisation on a diet of the writings of O.S. Nock, monthly doses of Locomotive Practice and Performance, tales of the fearless high speed running of driver Sparshatt and the bravery of driver John Axon – heroic and romantic. It is surprising what a difference seven years as a footplateman makes to the romantic and heroic image.

One of the first things you learn is that the vast majority of your shed-mates did not grow up on a diet of ‘Osnock’ and LP&P – and the first day they spent ‘hanging around at the end of the platform’ was their first turn on the station pilot. This is not to say that they were unenthusiastic, more that for most footplatemen it was a job of work and not the fulfilment of some boyhood ambition. Steaming down the East Coast Mainline running a fully fitted freight to the same timings as the ‘Talisman’ a la driver Sprashatt sounded great on paper – many of the firemen I worked with would have much preferred a little less haste and a lot less shovelling.

Some drivers I fired to were teetotal, some never drank whilst on duty and more than a few enjoyed a glass or two of foaming ale – one or two enjoyed a glass too many on occasion. There were drivers who made great efforts to run to the timings and some who were satisfied to be ‘there or thereabouts’ some would spit and curse and some would come to work every day in a clean white shirt and tie. One driver would coax his engine trying to use as little coal and water as possible whilst still keeping time, another would ‘give it some second valve’ – ‘cleans the tubes they’d say’. All you knew was that flying from the top of the chimney was your hard shovelled coal.

There is barely a minute day or night when a footplate crew were not booking-on or booking-off at some shed or other around the country. Booking-on times were very precise – to the minute, 03.43 for the 04.40 Salisbury papers, for instance. Booking-off may not have been at your home depot and railway lodging houses had a variable reputation – but none of them were ‘palatial’ and ‘bed ’s still warm’ was a not uncommon remark. It was not unknown for men to flop out unwashed and still in their ‘blues’! Not only ‘unromantic’ but un-hygienic as well.

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When, in 1948, the railway network was nationalised there were roughly 70, 000 footplatemen ranging from 15 year old engine cleaners to 65 year old link one drivers. Many of these old hand drivers had kept the railways running during world war II and some had been enginemen during the Great War of 1914 -1918. The lines they ran on and more than a few of the locomotives they used on those lines were running during the Boer War. Bombed, shell-shocked and short on investment, fitters still worked on engines at night using tallow lamps – ‘practically biblical’. Hardly the conditions to produce boundless enthusiasm, nor can they be, in any way, described by the term romantic.

Despite, or maybe in spite, of all this the myth of the romantic/heroic engine driver persists – ‘heritage’ crews battle for the unofficial blue ribbon for the climb to Ais Gill, pitting Duchess against Duke or King as they battle away from Appleby. Stop watches still time the feats, afficionadoes debate the performance and the fireboy still sweats like a pig in a lard factory. However, the footplate of the modern-day steam rail tour bears little resemblance to the footplate of the steam powered mainline railway of the past. Today there are more personnel on the footplate than the parson preached about. All tours of over 75 miles have to have two firemen, so I’m told. Back in the day Camden crews worked to Carlisle, Perth crews as far south as Crewe and I’ve personally worked Waterloo to Exeter and return – at 75 miles we hadn’t even reached Salisbury on the down run.

The photographs are: Me at work on the Bulleid Pacific No.35025 Brocklebank Line between Shawford & Winchester with the  ‘up’ Royal Wessex. Me leaning / posing in the cab of Merchan Navy class pacific No.35023 Hollan-Afrika Line. An unknown ‘volunteer’ cleaning the smokebox on Bulleid Light Pacific No.34101 Hartland.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Rebuilt or Un-rebuilt that is the question

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I have recently seen some discussion of the possibility of un-rebuilding, is there such a word, a Merchant Navy class Bulleid pacific. There were all the usual suspects, can’t be done, can be done but will cost loadsa wonga, wouldn’t it be great, and why bother. Discussion didn’t quite get as far as which form of streamlining, widows peak or not, long or short smoke deflectors and / or the highly contentions issue of livery – 21C1 in wartime black and with the widows peak, Malachite with yellow  and so on.

The discussion also mentioned the fact that at Riley’s loco-works in Bury were the wheel sets for No.35022 Holland-America Line, which, apparently, is one the way to becoming a working loco again. I have a rather special link with this engine from my days as a fireman at Nine Elms. In February 1965 No. 35022 Holland-America Line was selected to work the first RCTS East Devon Railtour from Waterloo to Exeter and back, with side trips down the Seaton Branch and to Exmouth.

I was the fireman for the trip which ran non-stop from Waterloo to Yeovil, a distance of 123 miles, and there are no troughs on the Southern. This required careful enginemanship and boiler management to achieve. The acid test was, did we have water in the tap at Worting Junction, needless to say we did and did run to Yeovil without stopping, apart from a signal check, near Woking.

Because the water was such a vital issue we, unusually for such a run, prepared our own engine and if you add the miles from Nine Elms up to Waterloo and to Exeter and back the it was  a prodigious distance for one fireman, approximately 350 miles. If No.35022 Holland-America Line does run again it will be wonderful to see her in action.

The photograph is Battle of Britain class ‘light’ pacific No.34070 Manston and the location is close to the summit of Eardington Bank on the Severn Valley Railway – not really Bulleid country, but a fine sight nonetheless.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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A genuinely unique survivor

Sir W.A.Stanier’s mixed traffic classic the ‘Black 5′ was one of the best loved and most versatile locomotives ever to run on British Railways, there were, at one time, 842 of them. However, only one of them was ever built with outside Stephenson’s link motion – and here she is No.44767, now named, possibly ironically, George Stephenson. No. 44767 was built the same year as I was, (1947), though she looks in better fettle!

The photograph was taken at one of the most photogenic locations on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Darnholme about 1/2 mile east of Goathland – the mythic Aidensfield of TV series Heartbeat fame.No. 44767 has spent much of here life in preservation, working on the NYMR, though she did have a spell out on the main line, some years ago now.

The driver has the sanders on which accounts for the steam at ground level, but the action is all at the chimney top as she blasts her way round the curve on the 1/49 climb up to Goathland – a fairly stiff test for both engine and crew.

via A genuinely unique survivor.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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A dirty job but someone has to do it

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As we all enjoy the beautiful images of steam at work in a whole gamut of settings, shades, and locations it is as well to remember that not everything associated with the operation of steam locomotives is picturesque – some of it is downright dirty, like this task being undertaken here.

Cleaning out the smokebox char is one of the most unpleasant jobs the fireman has to undertake. It’s hot and a little noisy too, the fine ash blows about everywhere, it gets in your eyes, ears, and yes up your nose and down your throat. I cleaned a great many a smokeboxes during my own time on the steam driven railway and I don’t envy today’s volunteers doing this job. The locomotive in the photo, Ex-Southern Railway 4-6-2 No.34101 Hartland, is a locomotive I worked on and one upon which I did this very task, during my time at 70A Nine Elms. In this photograph, the location is  Grosmont MPD on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, not the natural home for a Bulleid Pacific.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

‘Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.’

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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The Pits

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A once common place scene, pit head winding gear and a smoking industrial locomotive with a rake of mineral empties. However, today, in our modern, coal free age, this scene has to be lovingly recreated, which it is here, at the Foxfield Railway in Staffordshire. What was, once, Dilhorne colliery, is now a mining museum and the British coal mining industry is all but a museum piece too, with all, or nearly all, deep mines now closed and capped. The locomotive, Kent Electric No.2, is beginning the climb of ‘Dilhorne bank’ a short stretch of which is at the fearsome gradient of 1in19.

Lost in all the smoke, behind the mineral wagons, is another fairly unique little industrial locomotive  – a Dubs crane tank, acting as a banker. This is, essentially, a crane mounted on top of a tank engine – and it looks as odd as it sounds. Built by Dubs & Co. of Glasgow, in 1901, for the Shelton Iron & Steel works, No.4101 remained in service until 1968. Kent Electric No.2, (Bagnall 2842), was built in 1946 for the Kent Electric Power Co. and worked first at Dartford and then, in the mid-1950s, moved to Croyden. She was purchased, privately, for preservation in 1972 and had several homes before arriving at the Foxfield Railway in 2003.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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This isn’t the night mail

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This isn’t, ‘the night mail crossing the border bringing the cheque and the postal order’, (whatever happened to postal orders?), this is the legendary  ‘mail drop’ working on the Great Central Railway. This train recreates the old, line side, drop-off and pick-up of mail bags which was, ‘once upon a time’, such a feature of the railways in Britain. The traveling post office, (TPO),  began almost as soon as the railways went somewhere, and the line side drops and pick-ups began in 1866, on the GWR. The Great Western and the Southern Railway, to all intents and purposes, raced against each other bringing the trans-Atlantic mail from Plymouth to London

In our ‘modern age’ the railway no longer run specialised mail trains and the linside drops and collections have long gone too. The Royal Mail is now a private business and the ‘daily post’ is pejoratively referred to as ‘snail mail’. This, we are told, is in the name of efficiency and progress, I’m not convinced.

The loco in the photograph, Ex-GWR  49xx Hall Class, No. 4953 Pitchford Hall is a member of a class first introduced in 1928 which went on to become the ‘maids of all work’ on the GWR. No.4953 Pitchford Hall was built in 1929 and ended her working days in May 1963. Restored to full main line working order in 2004, she is now retired from service and awaiting her  turn for a 10 year overhaul at the Epping & Ongar Railway.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

 

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A field in England

November

Steam railway photography is the sort of hobby where you spend a lot of time standing in fields; with very little happening between the passage of trains, there’s plenty of time to indulge in metaphysics. Speculating on the nature of life, the universe, and everything can be as enjoyable a pastime as taking photographs of steam engines – combining the two, even better.

This particular field is between Oakworth and Crossroads, in the Worth valley. In the distance behind the train is Keighley and it’s suburbs. I’ve been visiting Keighley since I was a schoolboy – I once won the jackpot on a fruit machine in a working mens club right alongside Keighley Railway Station. The club was for dyers and weaving,  spinning,  along with many other occupations in the cloth trade was a major source of employment in the town. During a brief spell in my own railway career I  worked at Holbeck MPD, and as a result worked trains through Keighley en route to Morecambe via Skipton, Settle Jct, Gargrave, Bentham, and Wennington.  So I guess you could say that ‘me and Keighley have some history’.

The locomotive in the photograph, and its coaches, have some history too. The engine was designed by F W Webb in 1881 and built by the London North Western Railway in 1888.  To generations of railwaymen these engines became known as ‘Coal Tanks’ because they were ‘tank’ versions of Webb’s standard 17″ ‘coal engines’ – an 0-6-0 designed for ‘slow’ goods work. The coach behind the engine was to a design by OVS Bulleid though this example was built in 1950 by British Railway Southern Region. Behind the Bulleid coach is a ‘matchbox’ brake third built to a design for the SECR. However, this particular coach was built in 1924 and became part of the stock of the newly formed Southern Railway.

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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The Little Things

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Sometimes it’s not the big dramatic action shots which please it’s the ones filled with little vignettes. The driver oblivious to the photographers behind him, the pile of suitcases, baskets, and boxes on the porter’s barrow, the dappled light on the cobbled path leading to the platform, the station sign ‘ Andrews House’ neatly fitted between dome and chimney.

The tiny Wainwright P class 0-6-0 , built for the South Eastern & Chatham Railway in 1910, seems quite at home in the setting, despite the fact that it’s at the Tanfield Railway in North East England. There’s a timeless quality in the pose of the engine and driver, and a moment of frozen action provided by the photographers with their camera’s, ready to shoot, the  old station lamp, and the pile of luggage dividing the two scenes.

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. “Gricing” 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

 

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